Charlotte Dujardin once again made the Olympia stage her own as she opened the London International Horse Show by capturing yet another title.
Britain’s world number one won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Grand Prix for a fifth successive year — and she did it without the services of superstar ride Valegro.
With Valegro being aimed at the World Cup final and Rio Olympics in 2016 and taking a breather from Olympia this year, Dujardin contested the opening night’s feature class aboard Uthopia.
Owned by her mentor and trainer Carl Hester, Uthopia was making his return to top-level competition after an 18-month absence, and he did not disappoint.
Dujardin set the standard from draw number one, posting a score of 77.460 per cent that none of her rivals could better, with Hester and Holland’s Hans Peter Mindehoud going closest.
Hester took second with Nip Tuck on 76.660 per cent, while Mindehoud and Glock’s Flirt finished third, barely half a per cent behind Hester.
“I had a really good ride,” Dujardin said. “Uthopia is not a horse I have competed very much, and this is a huge show to come to, but he has coped with everything really, really well. I was very happy with the test.”
Image: Charlotte Dujardin rides Uthopia to victory at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Grand Prix, by Kit Houghton, courtesy of the London International Horse Show at Olympia